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Chaosium's Runequest 2 Vs Runequest 3 (Avalon Hill)


Paid a bod yn dwp

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I've been enjoying flicking through my Runequest 2 classic reprint, and it got me thinking what were the significant differences between RQ 2 & 3? It seems that with a new addition of Runequest by Chaosium soon to be released (based off of RQ2, a bit of 3, and lots of other new good stuff), that a revisit to the two older versions is appropriate.

Keeping a focus on Runequest 2 and 3 ,most people seem to agree that RQ2 was full of flavour, and perhaps RQ 3 was a bit dry in presentation. However what aspects of the 2 rule sets do people prefer & why? Also, what if any are the considered flaws of both rule sets?

 

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Learned with RQ2, and played that for a little while.  But I'm an unabashed fan of RQ3.  

Trying to mentally go through the rules from front to back:

For ability category modifiers like Agility or Manipulation, RQ2 had stat mods in 5% blocks (ie if you had a stat of 13-15, you'd get a +5%, 16-18 +10%), while RQ3 had an algorithm (every point above 10 was +1%).  Some people liked the former, because it was meaningful steps.  I prefer the latter, because it makes every stat change meaningful and de-incentivizes step-hunting. "I've got a 13 STR, so I don't care if I get a +1 or even a +2, it doesn't change anything."

RQ2 had two categories of POW which was confusing as hell (for me), which was separated/clarified in RQ3 to be POW and magic points.

RQ2 had defense, which was a flat -% to opponent attacks.  RQ3 had dodge, which was an ability you had to actually use and took an action.  I prefer the latter as the former is just too rationalized to make sense in so many situations.  The latter just made more sense to me.

RQ2 had some wonky per-location damage rules that used flat amounts so it didn't scale (ie if you were 6 over the hp on a location, it was severed or maimed).  I could see a 3 point arm being severed by 9 points of damage.  I couldn't see a 21 point tail of a dragon being severed by 27 points.  RQ3 more or less filtered out those non-scaling bits, but RQ (of any generation) is recognized far and wide as "the game where characters get their arms and legs chopped off".

RQ2 toons were generated pretty much as newbie stickpickers; RQ3 had background experience so your characters had some value already to start and are(a little) more survivable.  RQ2 did have actually fairly extensive background rules but it was buried in an appendix in the back.  It was pretty solely combat focused as well, IIRC.

RQ2 only had armor values up to 6 points.  RQ3 has IIRC up to 8 but with (as far as I can tell with a quick survey) no increase in weapons damage, so again, a little more survivable.  

RQ2 had one hit location table for each each creature type, while RQ3 had both melee and missile hit location tables for each.

RQ2 weapons and shields were crazy fragile.  Every point they blocked caused them damage, when it was exceeded, they were broken. (Yes, moderately good blows with a sword and your shield was junk)  Not only that, the values were wonky; a medium shield blocked/absorbed 12 points, but a shortsword could block/absorb 20.  Huh?   RQ3 weapon damage was changed to be 'when AP exceeded, blocker takes 1' which meant weapons rarely broke except as a result of a bad fumble, very extended combats, or a series of fights without repair.  Again, RQ3 made more sense to me.

RQ3 added a fatigue mechanic that sounded great but I believe pretty much EVERYONE ignored it in practice as being too fiddly.

RQ2 had stuff about Guilds - Alchemists, Sages, Thieves, Horsemasters, etc.  Nothing much about this in RQ3.

RQ2 mentioned nothing about sorcery.  RQ3 had sorcery rules which seemed to polarize people; they were seen as too weak at low levels, too OP at high levels and the span between the two was far too long for most games to accomodate.  They were generally considered to be too fiddly in pretty much every way.  Personally, I like them A LOT but even I'd concede readily that RAW were not very playable with out a lot of work.

RQ2 had a big section on treasure hoards; very little discussion in RQ3 at all about magic items, treasure, etc.

RQ2 was basically in Glorantha, but without making an exclusive deal out of it (Glorantha was where it made sense).  RQ3 was intended for a more quasi-historical setting, but IMO was terribly confused by itself.  Was it supposed to be Roman era?  Medieval?  The original supplements (Vikings, Land of Ninja) were a good effort, but it fell back (imo, more comfortably) into Glorantha for the bulk of its supplements (and the best ones).

Generally speaking, I think the difference between the two is more subjective than anything.  It depends on what you started on and had the best time with.  Most of the luminaries of the RQ world cut their teeth on RQ2, so that's the one they love.  I learned RQ from RQ2 and first played it as that, but I personally fell in LOVE with RQ3.  RQ2 to me is a great rule set, full of the sorts of quirky anachronisms that characterize the early generations of RPGs; the clumsy typesetting, kludgy drawings (sorry Louise) everything just says 'old timey RPG' and it *works* in that context.  RQ3 probably comes off as a more mechanically consistent and better-polished, but maybe a bit more sterile; the move to quasi-Europe was IMO pretty dumb.

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Some great points there, thanks Styopa.

I played both editions originally but it's been a long time since I contemplated the rules, and my memory is a bit hazy, but the points you've raised do ring a bell. Although i started on 2nd edition ( with older sibling) which got me hooked, i really took ownership of 3rd edition, buying the gamesworkshop reprints. 

With 3rd edition we never used fatigue. I also never really got my head around the sorcery rules of 3rd edition and gave up on trying. I preferred Dodge to defence as iy removed an extra calculation in attack. A bit more streamlined.

It seems there were scaling problems with both editions. You mentioned the 6 pt damage needed to to sever a limb in RQ2, which RQ 3 corrected ( i think) through exceeding by same or more hit points in that location. RQ3 also had some minor scaling issues with knock back not taking account of a characters size.  So a small character like a hobbit could potentially knock back a giant on a special/crit. 

I've also seen the point raised that RQ2 had 12 strike ranks, while RQ3 had 10. Not too sure whether there is much difference in practice, though it makes sense having 12 strike ranks to12 seconds of the melee round. 

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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I liked the previous experience occupations in 3rd, but looking at it now it seems a bit too generic and dry. Occupations / previous experience are a really good opportunity to help develop the actual character. Warhammer fantasy role-play in contrast to RQ3 provided colourful background occupations to the player characters through the previous experience system.

 The strength of Runequest with Glorantha (and the cults), is a much more colourful character background, then the generic starting points of RQ3. I'm sure that will be built on in the new edition. 

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I've had to dig out RQ3!

Knockback

Knock back in combat is quite different in both editions. 2nd edition has it as a specific declared attack, pitting Strength + Size vs Size & Dex of the opponent on the resistance table. Where as RQ3 has it as the by-product of any attack, calculated as damage that exceeds the size of the opponent by at least 5 points (size ignored on Special/crit). In my mind that makes for a lot more calculation in combat in RQ3, although the increased knockback chance with a special/ crit is quite realistic, but as mentioned doesn't scale well with creatures of vastly differing sizes, like in the the hobbit vs the Giant example previously mentioned.

I wonder how knockback will be treated in the new Runequest edition? 

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I mainly played RQ2, so my play experience with RQ3 is more limited. That said, I have read all of the material published for both. As others have done, I'll only focus on the Rulebook differences. 

In short, here are the big differences:

  • If you like tracking more numbers, skills, etc. you will probably prefer the RQ3 rules
  • If you didn't like Glorantha, you will probably prefer the RQ3 rules
  • If you like math based Sorcery, you will probably prefer the RQ3 rules
  • If you like more detail in your rules system, you will probably prefer the RQ3 rules
  • If you prefer the opposite of the above 4 things, you will probably prefer the RQ2 rules

In most respects, RQ3 ADDED rules, options, and information to RQ2. It didn't really subtract much. Glorantha was included in RQ3 as a bolt on, and the Deluxe Rules and Boxed Set both had more info on Glorantha than the RQ2 Rulebook did. In RQ3 they just put it in a separate book in the 5 book boxed set.

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Hope that Helps,
Rick Meints - Chaosium, Inc.

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In contrast to Rick, I mainly played RQ3, so my play experience with RQ2 is more limited, that said, I hae read all the material published for both.

Dodge means tracking less numbers, which is why I prefer RQ3

Knockback means doing less math (STR+SIX v SIZ+DEX?  How about if I do more damage than you have size, you're knocked back.) So again, prefer RQ3

Sorcery was buggered, but RQ3 HAD sorcery.  Looking forward to having unbuggered Sorcery in the new edition.

I feel RQ3 changed some things from RQ2 for the better.  But not all things were an improvement, such as fatigue which looked good on paper but was totally ignored by everyone. 

The change in Hit points and dismembering were big improvements in RQ3 over RQ2. 

Glorantha was just as fun in RQ3 as RQ2.  That they added Vikings and Ninjas sucked only because they were wasting time and resources better spent on Gloranthan material, not because anything was inherently flawed in RQ3.

 

So that's my two cents from the RQ3 perspective.

Edited by Pentallion
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5 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

I've also seen the point raised that RQ2 had 12 strike ranks, while RQ3 had 10. Not too sure whether there is much difference in practice, though it makes sense having 12 strike ranks to12 seconds of the melee round

 

Except IIRC there were strict enjoinders NOT to treat 12 sr as counting through the seconds, so the linkage was only apparent, not real.

(We dispensed with it anyway, over my own issues with SR: a problem with BOTH versions is that SR count up from zero, introducing a bunch of needless complication.  Reversing it, and counting down from the highest-rolled initiative fixed a number of things and then there was never an implied connection for us...)

Honestly, after this long, it's hard for me to even remember the RQ3 what's RAW and what's long-practiced houserules.  So while I say I like RQ3 better, the honest answer is that if I'd put that much effort into houserules for RQ2, I'd probably have been just as happy with it.  Or RQ6 for that matter.  I've just reached the stage of my life where I'm uninterested in rebuilding a rules system to conform with my particular worldview.  (shrug).

I'm looking forward very much to RQ4 because - even though I know it's based on RQ2 and not RQ3, and that makes me a little nervous - the way forward to growing our local coterie of RQ players is abundantly NOT my little houseruled creation.  It's a modern, current, commercial rules set that other people can go out and buy and run their own games.  And I feel like I'm willing to go through the learning curve to really 'get behind' a new system that will be (I hope) a brave new era for RQ.

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Thanks all

Its very helpful to think of RQ3 as more additive with regards to rules. Fatigue and sorcery were things I never came to terms with in RQ3. I've heard it said that the way sorcery was edited for the Games worship edition, made it even more confusing. In my opinion magic (sorcery)  should be fun and simple to use in game, but with potential for fumbles and crits affects. For myself it did seem that RQ3 was becoming needlessly complicated in these areas. But there were also a few areas of RQ3 that seemed to make a bit more sense like the already mentioned double damage needed to maim or sever a limb. 

One other point that has been mentioned by many is the critical vs impaling damage of RQ2. Where critical is the hardest result to achieve of the 2 so should presumably have a greater affect, with RQ2 this is not necessarily the balance.

  • RQ2 - Critical roll does normal damage but ignores armour. Impale does normal rolled damage + total possible damage 
  • RQ3 Crit does full possible damage plus Damage modifier and ignores armour. Impale does  twice normal rolled damage + normal damage modifier, however if impale is a critical as well it does the twice the maximum rolled damage + damage modifier.

If I were to pick and mix from the two Runequest versions, I would go with RQ 3 for the following:

  • Critical & impale rules
  • Change to hit points & dismembering ( sounds brutal!)
  • Dodge over defence

I think Im more inclined to go with RQ2 Knockback for the reason that with RQ3, although it  makes sense, knockback is constantly a calculation in combat adding to the time it takes to run any combat. With RQ2 having it as a specific attack means that it only needs to be calculated on rare occasions so becomes less complicated in the long run.

Regarding strike rank I'm not sure I like either systems either. Rolling a dice and adding a modifier is perhaps more fun?

like others here though I'm looking forward to the new Runequest based off of RQ2. Streamlined and fun is good, as long as its colourful and inspiring with fumbles and crits I'll be happy. 

 

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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I own the RQ3 softcover perfect-bound all-in-one-book edition that was printed in 1993. (One of the most eyeroll-worthy aspects of RQ3 is all the many many ways it was sliced and diced into different sets, and booklets, and basic this, and advanced that; so, this printing is the way to go, for sure.) I consider it my go-to “BRP Fantasy” book for if I ever want to do something non-Gloranthan. For flavor and playability, though, RQ2 is definitely more my style.

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Runequest 3 worked just fine for Glorantha  If all the Glorantha specific rules from Gods and Glorantha and Genertela players book had been collected in one place then the lack of Glorantha in the core books could not be used as lame excuse for beating up on the rules today.  The RQ3 Glornatha material pushed Runequest passed the cults as character classes to a more culture based game system, it is a great pity it was never finished.

  • If you like nostalgia more than reality you will probably prefer RQ2
  • If you prefer weapons that fall apart every melee you will probably prefer RQ2
  • If you prefer D&D style adventuring  you will probably prefer RQ2
  • If you prefer a really weak previous experience system you will probably prefer RQ2
  • If you prefer a game system where you could play it with a D20 instead of a d100 you will probably prefer RQ2

 

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I started with RQ2, played RQ3 whole-heartedly until we discarded it for Pendragon Pass. And now RQ4 has become our housegame - and even Claudia and Kiki have embraced it.

Now it may come as a surprise, but RQ2 is generally preferred by the rules writers themselves. RQ3 was a hybrid of rules fixes for RQ2 (that had been kicking around since 1979 or so), plus brand new rules and mechanics that in many cases didn't add much to the result (new ways of calculating hit points and hit point per location, new means of calculating strike ranks, new means of calculating skills category bonuses, etc) or were flat-out broken (like fatigue points or the ceremony/enchant/summons system). Plus the magic system suffered badly by making it generic (the sorcery system was, among its other flaws, utterly souless).

That being said, RQ3 was not a bad rules system - just with perfect hindsight, it tried to fix things that weren't broken and introduced new things that were broken. The goal of the new RQ4 is to be the RQ3 that should have been.

Jeff 

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Thanks for the contributions all. It's really helpful to hear the different perspectives, and the games designers point of view. 

Its a way of reminding myself what made the game (both RQ 2 & 3) so great originally.

Such a rich, well developed game ( yes we marvelled at its mechanics as youngsters). Coming back to it now with RQ Classic, it's brought back a lot of memories, and this comparison of the two Chaosium versions of RQ is a great refresher before the new edition arrives. At the time I wasn't overly academic about comparing the 2 versions, but now it's interesting to see how they stand together. 

Reassuringly what Jeff says about the games I find myself agreeing with. There were big parts of RQ 3 that just didn't work for me. Which came down to the generic flavour of the rules, and the magic system, particulary sorcery and the ritual stuff which did literally drain  the soul.

ive been looking at the strike rank rules in both 2 & 3, and on cursory glance they seem to read much the same. Both seem to allocate movement @ 3 meters per SR. Although to be honest I can't remember using this in a strict manner when we played orginally. Is there a significant difference in the SR usage I'm missing? 

 

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I prefer RQ3 as a system in some ways. I like Dodge over Defence, and I liked the char gen background and skill allocation system over RQ2 (although the BGB, MW, and RQ6 had better char gen skill point allocation).

Additionally I loved the RQ3 character sheets way better than the bland RQ2 sheets.

However the RQ3 Fatigue Points were clunky and best ignored. I think we ditched then early on, and used arbitary CON rolls vs RES table instead.

Sorcery was a mixed bag. On one hand there was definately a magic system for high fantasy wizards now. On the other hand I felt that this was uneccesary in Glorantha, as that could have been covered by Rune Magic, depending upon trappings.

Also the fact that sorcerors felt like high fantasy wizards just seemed wrong. The word 'Sorceror' conjured up mysterious casters from ancient Egypt, Lankmar or The Hyborian Age, yet these Sorcerors felt like they had more in common with alchemists or wizards, and that just didnt feel 'sorcerous' enough for me. If I wanted academic wizards or hermetic style casters then I would of just used Lhankor Mhy Rune Priests in this setting instead.

The other main drawback was that the RQ3 rulebook and supplements felt quite bland after reading the RQ2 line. I think this was partly due to the horrid colour schemes of Avalon Hill's RQ3, and also due to very inconsistent artwork. In addition to this, the narrative content was also quite formalised in some books.

The Games Workshop hardcover versions of the RQ3 rule books was certainly much better production quality than Avalon Hill's efforts, and the artwork was quite pleasing. The only issue was that it no longer felt like RuneQuest, it just seemed too glossy for some reason. Kind of like if Game Of Thrones was produced by Hallmark instead of HBO.

BTW RQ6 was quite impressive in the fact that it managed to blend the atmosphere and other elements of both RQ2 and RQ3 within it's covers, a reason why many hold it in high esteem. 

The RQ2 Glorantha supplements were brilliant and RQ3 did not come close to anything like this until the early 90s when they focused on Glorantha once again. RQ2 somehow still had the better atmosphere however.

In hindsight I also prefer the actual physical size of the RQ2 rulebook. Looking at my new hardcover RQ Classic I am amazed how much was put in such a slim volume. Just a treasure to hold. Not to mention Luis Perrin's sketchy artwork, which quite evocatively portrayed so much in so little. The sense of nostalgia I get looking at the RQ2 front cover just knocks the stumps off the wickets when comparing it to the RQ3 front covers (both the Avalon Hill and Games Workshop editions).

As far as initiative order goes, RQ2 12SR vs RQ3 10SR I think I prefer 10SR, although I think that just depends on what you are used to, as 12 SR works good as well. 

I have mixed emotions with CRQ4 considering returning to SR over BGB Dex Order +D10. I have fond memories of the old RQ SR system, but I'm unsure if it is little clunky by today's standards.

I think the RQ6 way of doing it was pretty good, it was smooth yet takes encumberance into account, so that may work the best I feel.

However you do know that you can only be playing RQ when you use the old SR system, it was pretty unique. 

Edited by Mankcam
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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I read an early review of RQ3 which said it was two steps forward and one step backwards, and I agree with that. When the game did come out in 1984, it was bigger and better, but many at the time were disappointed. The price was prohibitive; the physical quality could have been improved; and the rules had gained new complexities which were unnecessarily crunchy (e.g. fatigue), tediously granular (e.g. training) or soulessly dull and unbalanced (sorcery). Making the rules setting-generic also made the rules bland - RQ2's Saga of Rurik the Restless is still memorable to me, but I can barely recall anything from Cormack the Pict's narrative examples in RQ3. 

When RQ3 came out I missed Rurik the Restless, and like everyone back then, moaned about the flimsy paper covers, the exorbitant price tag and (later) the incredibly bad artwork. Still, apart from a few stinkers (those boxes of character sheet pads, Monster Coliseum, enough reprints of the Kyger Litor cult to start a bonfire), many supplements remained invaluable resources: every inveterate Gloranthaholic's bookshelf had their dog-eared copies of the "Genertela Book" and Gods of Glorantha, right next to their brittle and aging Cults of Prax (if they got in early enough).

While background material enriches a game (and it is the quality of the background material on which the fame of RuneQuest 2 was based), players also needed stuff to buy off the shelves, flip open the cover, and start running on a Friday night. Avalon Hill RuneQuest had some releases of this type, but until Sun County - eight years after RQ3 came out - any Gloranthan scenario material was pretty much all reprints from RQ2.  A common lament amongst former RuneQuest players at the time was "We want to play RuneQuest, but there's nothing to play."

So while Glorantha was inseparable from RuneQuest in the earlier Chaosium editions, in the Avalon Hill edition it became optional, and ultimately the question - "what was more important to gamers, the world or the rules?" was I think definitively answered with the RQ Renaissance under Ken Rolston (Sun County, River of Cradles etc.) firmly returning the game to Glorantha. Sadly, the RQ Renaissance was to be as short as it was glorious: Ken moved to other pastures, the Chaosium-Avalon Hill relationship took a turn for the worse and a new edition of the rules was holed below the water before it could even set sail. Fortunately, Glorantha was kept alive mostly in the realms of fandom, with fanzines like Tales of the Reaching Moon etc.

And now RQ's firmly coming back to Glorantha (and Chaosium), a quarter of a century later! Gloranthan roleplaying is firmly back in the hands of those who love it, and where it started. And - as Jeff has capably expounded in his design notes series - the new edition seeks to be what the next iteration of RuneQuest was going to become, if things had not panned out the way they had. What a journey!

Edited by MOB
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Yes MOB its great how it all looks like panning out. I first came across Moon Design with the Gloranthan Classics reprints, then saw how the company replaced Issaries Inc in regards to HQ, and bought HQ for the Gloranthan content. The Sartar and Pavis books are definitely a return to form, and the G2G is nothing short of magnificient. It seems quite fitting that Moon Design is doing this new version of RuneQuest, and knowing that Greg Stafford has some influence feels much better than if another company just had the licence and no direct communication to the origins of the setting. Also quite impressive that the RQ Renaissance is about to happen again, of which you were actually part of once Sun Country hit the shelves not to mention the fanzines).

Glorantha as a setting is definitely in safe hands. I think the only queries people have is regarding the RQ system itself, as everyone has their version of the sacred cow now, which is understandable given the age of the game. Its easy to see that it is not just another job for you guys, but a labour of love for the rules and setting. That kind of intensity is hard to find these days, and greatly appreciated.

Edited by Mankcam
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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

That being said, RQ3 was not a bad rules system - just with perfect hindsight, it tried to fix things that weren't broken and introduced new things that were broken. The goal of the new RQ4 is to be the RQ3 that should have been.

I hope you guys reach that goal. If you do, I'll definitely be throwing some cash in Chaosium's direction after its release.

2 hours ago, MOB said:

RQ2's Saga of Rurik the Restless is still memorable to me, but I can barely recall anything from Cormack the Pict's narrative examples in RQ3. 

I still have vivid recollections of Cormack the Pict's narrative examples, likely because RQ3 was my first introduction to RuneQuest back in the mid-80s. RQ2 might not had much in the way of market entry in my part of the US back in the day. I don't recall ever seeing it in local game stores.

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On 7/12/2016 at 2:05 PM, Falconer said:

I own the RQ3 softcover perfect-bound all-in-one-book edition that was printed in 1993. 

I've got a copy of the all-in-one-book, too. It's a great collection and format, but the binding was very suspect. At least mine was. I'm very careful with all of my Rpg books, and it didn't hold up to even casual reading. One day I was flipping through it and a page came out in the Monster chapter. It went back on my bookshelf after that and has stayed there, and I've referenced the flimsy cover books since then. They've proved to be a bit more durable.

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15 hours ago, Jeff said:

I started with RQ2, played RQ3 whole-heartedly until we discarded it for Pendragon Pass. And now RQ4 has become our housegame - and even Claudia and Kiki have embraced it.

PenDragon Pass is a game which seriously needs more exposure! Jeff can you get Dave on that please? Break out the whips if necessary!

15 hours ago, Jeff said:

Now it may come as a surprise, but RQ2 is generally preferred by the rules writers themselves. RQ3 was a hybrid of rules fixes for RQ2 (that had been kicking around since 1979 or so), plus brand new rules and mechanics that in many cases didn't add much to the result (new ways of calculating hit points and hit point per location, new means of calculating strike ranks, new means of calculating skills category bonuses, etc) or were flat-out broken (like fatigue points or the ceremony/enchant/summons system). Plus the magic system suffered badly by making it generic (the sorcery system was, among its other flaws, utterly souless).

Fatigue, clunky certainly. I'm not sure I would go as far as broken. Category modifiers... I preferred them. It meant that characteristics were more important, had more of a bearing upon skills even if it didn't necessarily give you as high a bonus. I also liked that you could end up with a negative bonus... A high size is good for damage mod, but utterly crappy for stealth!

Magic suffered by being generic? <shrug> OK? In play I never really encountered much difference between Battle Magic and Spirit Magic, or between Rune/Divine in actual play. Failure rate was a bit higher, but I didn't think things suffered because of that. Sorcery at the time was unique. There was no other system out there (that I can recall) that tried to replicate the Wizard in the Tower (or library). The times I played a Sorcerer, I really enjoyed it. It felt so much different than the sorcerers in that other game.  

Now in hindsight...  yeah, there were flaws and clunkiness. We see the flaws, we've moved on, but at the time it was GREAT!

15 hours ago, Jeff said:

That being said, RQ3 was not a bad rules system - just with perfect hindsight, it tried to fix things that weren't broken and introduced new things that were broken. The goal of the new RQ4 is to be the RQ3 that should have been.

Jeff 

I hold out hope for RQ4, but at least as of now I'm still not convinced. You see, I like being able to use a rules system where I like. I lament that apparent lack of genericness in the rules, as presented so far. While I love what we've so far seen of the magic system and its  integration of Gloranthan runes, this also means that RQ will not be my go to game if I want to run a quick series of games in Hyboria, or pull out my copy of the Thieves World supplement to use with it, or others. Now I can use my excellent new copy of RQ2 (thank you!), but there was a time I was hoping to be able to do this with a new rules set. 

SDLeary

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Perhaps RQ shouldn't be a generic system, I think it will benefit by having mechanics that tie it to the setting of Glorantha.

However, as stated in another thread, I would also like to definately see Chaosium producing a generic ruleset that has some common ground rules with both RQ and CoC.

 I still think there is some market for that, and personally I love having a toolkit I can use to power my own off-the-cuff  settings; it is the very essence of roleplaying.

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

I hold out hope for RQ4, but at least as of now I'm still not convinced. You see, I like being able to use a rules system where I like. I lament that apparent lack of genericness in the rules, as presented so far. While I love what we've so far seen of the magic system and its  integration of Gloranthan runes, this also means that RQ will not be my go to game if I want to run a quick series of games in Hyboria, or pull out my copy of the Thieves World supplement to use with it, or others. Now I can use my excellent new copy of RQ2 (thank you!), but there was a time I was hoping to be able to do this with a new rules set. 

SDLeary

Hopefully what we do with BRP will help here...

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4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Magic suffered by being generic? <shrug> OK? In play I never really encountered much difference between Battle Magic and Spirit Magic, or between Rune/Divine in actual play. Failure rate was a bit higher, but I didn't think things suffered because of that. Sorcery at the time was unique. There was no other system out there (that I can recall) that tried to replicate the Wizard in the Tower (or library). The times I played a Sorcerer, I really enjoyed it. It felt so much different than the sorcerers in that other game.  

 

Yes, magic suffered by being generic. Spirit magic and divine magic were largely unchanged from battle and rune magic (although rune lords were gone, rune priests were made far more difficult to become, etc), but magic should be, in my very strong opinion, setting-specific. Generic magic is like like generic religion or culture. The magic of Glorantha should be different from the magic of the Eternal Champion which should be different from the magic of the Norse sagas which should be different from the magic of the Greek epics which should be different from the magic of Call of Cthulhu. 

And RQ3 sorcery had some interesting ideas, but ultimately fell flat. It was disconnected from any setting, its spells were bland and power-gamy, and from a scenario writer's perspective, it was a nightmare. The new sorcery rules are significantly streamlined, set securely in Glorantha, and far more flexible.

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22 minutes ago, Jeff said:

And RQ3 sorcery had some interesting ideas, but ultimately fell flat. It was disconnected from any setting, its spells were bland and power-gamy, and from a scenario writer's perspective, it was a nightmare. The new sorcery rules are significantly streamlined, set securely in Glorantha, and far more flexible.

RQ3 sorcery had the same problem RQ2's shaman rules had - both were exceedingly powerful with high level characters, but the pathway to take a beginner apprentice shaman or sorcerer to get there was well nigh unsurvivable. 

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I came to both editions late, having really only played Stormbringer in my early gaming experiences. I have read both now, however, after picking up the Classic RuneQuest book for the Kickstarter game. RQ2 is not as well organised, but it's a more engaging read than RQ3 and less complex to run. That's all I have to say on the matter, honestly.

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